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									                                                                                               THE FINAL TAKE                        with Mike Dunn

Pro Stock                                   Concrete Buell and ran a best of 7.06
                                                                                       First win: It was good to see                             single offset bar was a good
                                                                                       another first-time winner in                              idea for the starting line, but
Motorcycle                                  with the help of Rick Maney.
                                                                                       Funny Car with Bob Tasca III                              Prock was worried that if the
                       Craig Treble,        Although he has been as quick as
                                                                                                                                                 car locked up the clutch and
                                                                                       and crew chief Chris
                       who rarely           6.50 on his nitro-burning Harley-
                                                                                       Cunningham. I worked with                                 got up on the bar farther
                       makes a              Davidson, he claims the Pro Stock
                                                                                       Chris for a couple of years                               downtrack, it might tip it over,
                       mistake on the       bike is much more difficult to ride.
                                                                                       when I drove for Darrell                                  so he put two wheelie bars on
                       starting line,       “The Harley has no transmission, so
                                                                                       Gwynn in the 1990s, probably                              it, like the old days. He wanted
                       was practically      you’re pretty much just hanging on
                                                                                       through 1994. Chris is a really                           the offset but needed the
                       at a loss for        for dear life,” said Horne. “This
                                                                                       knowledgeable guy and a hell of a              second one just in case. One wheelie bar
                       words following      [Buell] is much more technical.”
                                                                                       character. He and his dad have been            is lighter, but it wasn’t worth the risk.
                       the .236
                                                                                       friends with the Gwynns for years. Chris
                       reaction time        Ordering a new set of leathers for
                                                                                       seems to work well with Marc Denner;           No surprise: It certainly wasn’t any
                       that led to his      the 2009 season, Angie McBride
                                                                                       there’s a mutual respect there, and I          surprise to me or anyone else that Larry
first-round loss against Shawn Gann.        wasn’t sure what name to have
                                                                                       think Marc coming over helped shore            Dixon, Alan Johnson, and Jason
“I have no idea what the heck               stitched onto the back because she
                                                                                       some things up. They certainly looked          McCulloch have won already this year.
happened. It seemed like it took            plans to become Mrs. Matt Smith
                                                                                       good. They didn’t have the quickest e.t.s      I’ll be honest, there’s no reason to think
forever for the Tree to come on,”           later this year. McBride compromised
                                                                                       of race day, so it’s a pretty good bet they    that this can’t be the beginning of
Treble said.                                and chose “Future Smith” assuming
                                                                                       were just a bit on the soft side, and it’s     another successful year for Alan
                                            that, at some point, the “Future” will
                                                                                       real easy to try to run soft and end up        Johnson. I’m not saying he’s going to
It was far from the quickest run of         be removed.
                                                                                       running softer than you had hoped for.         win 15 races again — though anything is
the weekend, but Ryan Schnitz’s 7.18                                                                                                  possible — but he’s just got it so figured
aboard Rob Muzzy’s Kawasaki ZX-14           McBride’s chance to race in her first
was labeled by many insiders as one         final came to an end when her Buell,
                                                                                       Changing track: The Gatornationals             out, which is amazing because he has all
                                                                                       was another race where the crew                new parts. When he was at
of the best runs of the event,              which is tuned by Robbie East,
                                                                                       chiefs really earned their pay. The            Schumacher’s, they’d buy clutch discs a
regardless of class. The run                wouldn’t go back into low gear
                                                                                       middle of the track was terrible in            year ahead of time so they’d know what
represented a nearly two-tenths             following her burnout against round-
                                                                                       qualifying, but it got better as the race      they’re going to run. It takes a while to
improvement over the team’s                 two opponent Hines.
                                                                                       went on, and the starting line got             figure out any new batch of clutch discs
previous efforts. “We’ve been busy                                                                                                    — to find their coefficient of friction
                                                                                       worse. I really saw that with the Pro
this winter,” said Muzzy. “We took a                                 Shortly after
                                                                                       Stock guys and even some of the fuel           (how much they’ll grab) and how much
lot of weight off the bike, but there is                             riding his
                                                                                       guys; I think that’s why Antron Brown          they’ll wear or fade under heat, all of
still more we can do. It’s just going                                Nitro Fish
                                                                                       smoked the tires in the second round.          which affects the application. As long as
to take some time.”                                                  Suzuki to a
                                                                                                                                      the clutch discs are consistent, a guy like
Another rider who has dramatically                                   finish, Smith
                                                                                       Bald is beautiful: We all know that the        A.J. will figure it out pretty quickly. He’s
                                                                                       starting line can get some bald spots          pretty sharp in the clutch. Like I’ve said
stepped up his program for 2009 is                                   drove back
                                                                                       where the rubber goes away, but I find         before, he doesn’t have more horsepower
Wes Wells, who qualified ninth                                       to his home
                                                                                                                                      than everyone else. I’d 
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